Taylor guarantees Farah's starting role
Almost four months since being told he was free to look elsewhere or risk playing out the remaining two years of his contract in NSW Cup, Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah has been guaranteed the No.9 jumper by coach Jason Taylor for the 2016 season.
Speaking at Aaron Woods' captaincy announcement on Friday, Taylor spoke of the "positive conversations" he has had with Farah in the weeks since it's been known he will remain at the club.
With the club signing former Queensland Origin rake Matt Ballin since the Farah saga begun – and with Manaia Cherrington the Tigers' long-term hooking prospect – the former Tigers skipper Farah has put the dilemma behind him.
"Absolutely [the spot is his]. Robbie's trained well enough to make that decision his own," Taylor said, when asked if Farah's place in the team was sealed.
"It's been his position. I don't see any reason why that will change between now and the start of the season.
"We have got to a great result this week and that's on the back of a lot of hard work from both of us putting the club first and working towards the result we've got."
With Farah duly awarded a place in the club's seven-man leadership group on Wednesday, the veteran will now have to answer to new captain Woods.
At just 24 years old Leichhardt junior Woods ensured there would be no awkward exchanges with his long-time teammate upon being awarded the captaincy.
"Robbie was the first bloke I told. I wanted to let him know – he patted me on the back and gave me a cuddle," Woods said.
"He said 'mate I'll always be there to help you, it's a mad ride being captain. There are ups and there are downs' but I know he'll always be there to help me.
"It's a massive honour to captain this club. I was a local junior growing up and always wanted to play first grade and to get the opportunity to play with Wests Tigers and now to be captain of the club, it's a massive honour and privilege as well."
Woods is hoping to bring a more relaxed style as the club's new head honcho, with Farah renown for being a more intense figure in comparison.
"Robbie's a competitor as you sort to get to know. I'm a lot more laid back and relaxed. But there's going to be times where I have to be on the ball a bit more as well now," Woods said.
"It won't be too different but I've got my own way of doing things, and Robbie has his own ways. I just want to bring in the way I want to captain the side."